Democracy Docket: 140 Judges Later: Senate Democrats Work To Diversify the Federal Judiciary

In the News

Paige Anderholm


This excerpt is from a piece that originally ran on August 25, 2023.

Natasha Merle, who marked Democrats’ 100th confirmation, was sworn in this week as a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, making her the first former public defender to serve in the position in almost three decades. Merle — who was previously a public defender, and most recently the deputy director of litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund — will bring an important pro-democracy perspective to the bench. According to Alliance for Justice, “Ms. Merle participated in Greater Birmingham Ministries v. Alabama,” a 2020 lawsuit filed by the NAACP challenging Alabama’s restrictive photo ID law.

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